Development and Change: Special issue on COVID-19

'The Political Economy of a Global Pandemic'

This special issue of Development and Change shifts the focus from the corona virus itself to the socioeconomic determinants of novel zoonoses and their containment strategies

It is two years since a novel Coronavirus — SARS-CoV-2 — travelled the world to wreak havoc on the lives of humans across the globe.

Although the global COVID-19 mortality, currently standing at approximately 6 million, comes nowhere near the 50 million deaths of the 1918‒19 Spanish flu pandemic to which it has been compared, the impact of COVID-19 has been far more devastating.

This seventh Development and Change virtual issue, guest edited by Visiting Fellow, C. Sathyamala, contributes to the ongoing discourse on COVID-19 by shifting the focus from a disease agent (the virus) to the socio-economic determinants of novel zoonoses and their containment strategies.

'... pandemics are not a 'fact of life' [but] ... rooted in the process of capital accumulation'

In the Introduction, the author weaves insights from 12 papers published in Development and Change between 2006 and 2019 into the COVID-19 narrative and argues that pandemics are not a ‘fact of life’. They are very much rooted in the process of capital accumulation and the ensuing destruction of global ecosystems that makes zoonoses a recurring and imminent threat.

Moreover, the restructuring of the health sector under neoliberal reforms has led to its inability to respond adequately to the COVID-19 global public health crisis, yet it has created opportunities for further capital accumulation in the health care industry, particularly the pharmaceutical sector.

Dr C. Sathyamala

Researcher

Dr C. Sathyamala

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